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Mother Of All Storms | Pelican Pub & Brewery

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451 Reviews
Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms

Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
First Release - November 2008 'The Perfect Storm'
2007 Stormwatcher's Winterfest Barleywine, aged in 1998 Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels.

Second Release - October 2009 'The Perfect Storm'
2008 Stormwatcher's Winterfest Barleywine, aged in 1998 Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels.

***NOTE - Third Release - November 2010 The name was changed to 'Mother of All Storms' for trademark reasons.***

Fourth Release - November 2011

31.7 degrees Plato
Alcohol: 13.5% by volume
Bitterness: 40 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-25-2008

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Reviews: 451 | Ratings: 1,894
Photo of dbossman
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark mahogany with no head or lacing--so still

S: Plenty of bourbon up front; a bit hot; some wood and lots of molasses

T: Wow, that's a bourbon, oak, and molasses bomb; so boozy but it comes together to make a really tasty beer

F: A touch thin but sticky and creamy enough on the finish for it to work

O: A nice bourbon-centric beer; I think this could use a bit of age to mellow things out a bit but it's still pretty tasty fresh

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Photo of orangesol
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to whoever brought this one to Imminent Liquidation II. Bottle from 2011, not my first run in with this one.

A - Pours dark caramel brown with a decent one finger tall khaki colored head leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of toffee, caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, oak, molasses and plenty of bourbon booze. This one still smells a little too hot for my liking but still very nice.

T - Starts off with plenty of sugary sweetness - mostly toffee, caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, etc. - quickly giving way to the hot bourbon booze and some dry oak tannins. Finish is best described as sweet bourbon heat, lingering long after consumption.

M - Big, boozy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. The carb goes a little flat as it sits in the glass and the booze is still way too strong.

O - I remember when I had this beer for the first time. It was a 2009 bottle, consumed in early 2010, and it was the #10 overall beer in the world. At the time I thought that was WAY too high. I have had it twice since then and it is still very good, but the best I have ever had? No way.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Weyerbacher tulip; shared at a tasting.

A: Effectively opaque brown body with ruby highlights. Not much carbonation, but what do you expect in such a huge beer?

S: Hugely toasty, sweet nose of lightly oxidized barleywine goodness. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, some light, candied fruit. A little over the top - but isn't that what you want?

T: Big, sweet, and oaky. Everything you'd expect; nothing you wouldn't. Great beer.

M: Full body with some spiky carbonation - more than I expected based on the pour and the ABV. Pretty good.

D: Not great, but what could be at 13%?

Notes: Super special thanks to Tony for magnanimously opening this amazing and sought-after beer with us. I only wish we'd had it earlier in the night, when my experience wouldn't have been quite as hazy. Drunkenness didn't keep this from being a memorable experience, though. I can't wait to get to try this beer again, preferably with some more age on it. The astronomical ABV could use some time to tone down, even though it's delicious enough to drink wantonly as is.


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Photo of andrewinski1
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for pulling this one out to try. Poured into a tulip. The head is a nice ecru color and about an eighth inch thick. The body is very dark amber; almost mauve.

The aroma is full of vanilla and brown sugar. There is a decent amount of metallic hops in the aroma as well.

The taste consists of brown sugar and molasses. There is a nice oaky finish to this one along with a strong hop bite. This is sweet, but in a good way.

Nice heavy body here. The carbonation is subtle and smooth.

This just about met my expectations. Very good wooden notes; a nice complex sipper.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Thanks to goodstrongbeer for bringing this out, I have wanting to try this for a long time.

Appearance: Mother of All Storms pours a ruby brown color with a fast fading tan cap. No real lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: There is a good amount of booze in the aroma. Caramel, smooth malts, toffee, oak, and vanilla.

Taste: Boozy, yet very smooth and tasty. The malt presence is strong but not overwhelming. The sweetness starts firm, but fades through the sip. Caramel and toffee work well with bourbon, vanilla, and oak contribute to a complex flavor. The finish is slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and lightly carbonated. The alcohol is more noticeable in the throat and stomach than in the flavor. The tongue tingles as well from the strong flavor and booziness.

Overall: A boozy delight. It makes no attempt to hide its identity - thick, sweet, boozy, and delicious.

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/5/2014 Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a deep amber with a single finger of amber head. The head is very short lived leaving minimal lacing. No sediment.
S - Smells of bourbon and sweet malt with a hint of hops and soy.
T - Fairly bitter at the fore with medium malt and bourbon in the middle and a bite at the end.
M - Very viscous with a small amount of carbonation. Quite mouth coating.
O - A good barley wine but one that is heavy on the hops. I would give it a higher score were it more balanced.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml 2012 bomber poured into tulip 17/12/13, thanks OakedCanuck for the long time want

A reddish brown that I can just barely see through when I hold it to the light, fast falling three fingers of noisy tan foam leaves no lace but that's to be expected at this strength, some wide legs and a few streams of tiny bubbles going up the side make it look like a slow boiling pot of oil

S lots of brown sugar, some anise, wood, bourbon, vanilla, toffee and caramel, some booze and I get some sawdust of all things, some sugar coated raisins burnt marshmallow, and spiced rum

T more boozy bourbon, lots of toffee, some fruity notes, a little coco, leather, plenty of booze and wood, everything I smells still there but with some welcome additions

M not as thick as expected but quite syrupy and sticky, lots of heat and a little tannin, has enough bubbles to give it some life but it stops short of creamy

O booze is noticeable throughout but that's my only complaint, everything else is working well for this one but I wouldn't put it as high as it is on the top 250 list

I'd love to revisit this one a few years down the road, shes a big ass boozy sipper and If I had a second bottle I'd sit on it for ages. Its a great beer don't me wrong I just don't think its built to be drank fresh, and by fresh I mean a little over a year old.

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Photo of animortician
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted along side King Henry and Abacus in one night.

A: Deep Chocolatey brown, light brown head that didn't produce much head or leave any lacing.

S: Bourbon Bourbon and more Bourbon, with some roasty toasty malt in there.

T: Great complexity of flavor, Even with the Big Bourbon flavor this beer is balanced enough to taste some really good malt profile. The finish was a little odd for me, I can't put words to the flavor but it just tasted different and not that good on swallowing.

M: Hard to hide 13.5% in there, this thing def tasted and felt like a High ABV beer. Carbonation was a lil low.

O: Drinking this next to Abacus I would have to rate it just below because of the weird after taste, if it weren't for that the complexity of flavor was better. King Henry is in a league of his own. This was a really good beer, def something I would want to sip around a campfire.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle

A: ruby red to brown with virtually no head, and what head there was dissipates quickly to just a ring around the rim of the glass, no lacing to note

S: very sweet smelling, scents of dark fruits, caramel, bourbon, and definitely note the alcohol that lurks within

T: flavors of dark fruits are very present, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, and of course the booze

M: mild carbonation, medium body, but thinner than expected for the style, a little alcohol burn

D: definitely a sipper, it's good and has a very unique flavor profile.

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Photo of trappistlover
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Sampled at Dak’s Memorial Day tasting. Courtesy of Dak!!). I almost passed on this because it was getting late in the day and I have a bottle at home. That would have been a major mistake. This beer is unbelievable!! Pours a clear mahogany with no head. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, coconut and caramel dominate. Taste follow suit with a sweet blend of bourbon, coconut and vanilla. Did I mention coconut?? Medium bodied wit ha slick texture. Super smooth. This is a kick ass beer!!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Adam last night. '14 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky brown, with a very small head, and no lacing.

Smells like a big old bourbon bomb, tons of bourbon, oak, and alcohol, with typical barleywine. This smells pretty "hot."

It seems like this one might need a little time to mellow out. As it is now, it's a stellar barleywine, but I think with 2 years on it, this could become god tier. Now, there's a good amount of spicy booze and oak, some char, caramel, dark fruit, coconut, and an absolutely insane amount of bourbon flavor here. Bourbon bomb for sure.

This is medium bodied, with a thick and syrupy mouthfeel, with a crisp alcoholic bite at the end of each sip. It's definitely a slow sipper, due to how strong the booze is.

I'd love to try a '12 or '13 of this, or try a '14 in a few years. Now, it's slightly too hot, and needs a bit of time to mellow out. However, even at this stage, its still delicious and clearly well-crafted.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a very dark russet brown with only a thin light tan head that dissipated to a ring around the glass. There appears to be active carbonation, but the bubbles don't stick around. Classic English barleywine aroma of caramel malt and dark fruit with nice bourbon and oak notes. Flavor follows with caramel malt, brown sugar, bourbon, dark dried fruit, a hint of cherry and chocolate. Finishes somewhat dry with oak and light hops. Medium bodied. Alcohol is covered but still hot and warming. A really nice English barleywine that was worth waiting for. Will lay a few bottles away for ageing, I think this will score even higher when the alcohol mellows and the flavors balance out over time.

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Photo of Etan
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Maine Beer Company wine glass. 2011 vintage.

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a small dark tan head. No lacing or retention.

S: Raisiny with a lot of barrel notes. Prunes, toffee, dark grain, vanilla, pleasant sting of booze.

T: Roasted malt, crushed raisins, vanilla, slight hop oil and bitterness, a bit of oxidation, heavy boozy heat throughout. Tannic and bitter in the finish.

M: Thick with slight, tingly carbonation.

O: The alcohol shows itself a bit too much, leaving a slight astringent bitterness, but otherwise this is good.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit: 2 years must be what it takes. I opened 2012 vintage today (9-8-2014) and boy it's just awesome.

It definitely got sweeter over time and alcohol burn is pretty much gone at this point.

Still ton of barrel character, toffee, vanilla, caramel... wow. Amazing. I am upping my rating.

2011 Vintage bottle - consumed on 11/21/2012.

A: It's almost black - really dark reddish brown but clear body with half a finger head.

S: Wow. Vanilla, caramel, oak, dark fruits, alcohol, sweetness. amazing.

T: Vanilla, toffee, caramel malt, brown sugar, dark fruits (plum, cherries, fig). It's a tad bit hot. Barrel aging on this beer is done to perfection, adding so much complexity. If it was slightly less sweet and less boozy, it would been perfect. I think this could use another year or two of further cellaring.

Update* - I had a chance to try 2012 bottle (fresh) and I have to say that the fresh bottle had much more fruit notes and surprisingly less alcohol burn. It felt sweeter too.

M: Thick, syrupy, with lots of alcohol heat.

O: I think I much refer fresh Abacus/Sucaba over this, but it was pretty solid. Too sweet for me though.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark murky caramel, little to no tan head, leaves fast to disk. No lace.

S - Soy and pineapple - basically teriyaki. TONS of booze too.

T - Cocoa adds to the smell attributes, chocolate chips cookie feel.

M - Heavy body, decent carb, pretty good balance considering the flavors and the abv.

D - Cmon, palatte killer and will put you on the floor.

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Photo of bonkers
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I recieved this as part of a BIF, split with a friend. It pours very dark, medium head, light lacing. Stong bourbon aroma, vanilla, chocolate. The beer is boozey, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate. Nice sipper, lightcarbonation, full body. Very excited to try it, worth seeking out.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, 2012
Lost Abbey

A: Pours a deep brownish amber color. Thin layer of off white, light tan head. Not a ton of head. Sticky lacing. Alcohol feet for sure.

S: Booze. Sticky toffee pudding. Caramel. Toffee. Some slight roast.

T: Vanilla. Caramel. Toffee. Booze. The heat is there, but it's not overly hot. At that ABV, it's expected.

M: Medium leading to full. Coats the mouth.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black in glass which is a little surprising to me for the style. Bubbly tan head head with pretty short retention.

Solid bourbon barrel character in the nose. Caramel, notes of dark fruit and molasses. Not quite as complex as I'd hoped but nice.

Flavor is pretty big and bright with notes of dark fruit, oak, a bit of anise, caramel and molasses with a mild bitterness. Mildly sweet vanilla wafflecone-like aftertaste.

Mouth is medium-full bodied with low carb. A bit sticky.

Overall it's a very good beer but not quite as good as I had anticipated. I have traded away a few and put off the chance to try this and am finally trying it. Maybe I set my hopes a little too high? Some say it's better fresher??

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this as part of the Epic Bottle Share at TG. Extremely good but would have probably rated a little higher if it wasnt in the same tasting as a complete TG Stout Vertical.

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Photo of claspada
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 edition sampled 12.12.12.

Aromas are much less boozy than I remember from the aged bottled. Lots of dark prunes, toffee, dark bakers cocoa and molasses (almost leather). Some oak and alcohol heat emerge as it warms.

The tastes has lots of dark and milk chocolate, with emerging coconut bourbon and a little vanilla. A huge base of toffee and brown sugar. Finish is semi sweet and slick with ample sugar and oak coating your palate. Bitter molasses and some sweet maple also emerge as it warms.

Overall I think think version is more refined than the original, maybe the refined the base beer or improved or altered their barrel aging but this example is much better than I remembered. Still a beast and should be shared; just a monster flavor wise.

2008 bottle courtesy of hoppymcgee. Still says The Perfect Storm on the label (original name).

Pours a viscous dark, dark brown with a small khaki head that recedes rapidly leaving adequate lacing.

Aromas begin with a decent amount of alcohol surprisingly even after 3-ish years of cellaring. I also get some chocolate and the usual barely wine smells of caramel, toffee, vanilla, and dark fruit are there as well, along with some oak. But the booze is quite apparent here.

The tastes follow the nose of this monster. The booze can't hide amongst the excessive malts. Flavors of toffee and molasses, paired with some chocolate, and a boat ton of Evan Williams bourbon. Very thick, I feel like I should be chewing what is in my glass. This must have been a fresh barrel because it is very prevalent. Not overly offensive, just a really big beer and I am glad I only had a small sample.

The mouthfeel very nice and smooth, despite the alcohol bite in the finish. The carbonation is quite low and the body is quite full but not the fullest I have ever had and I wouldn't classify it as chewy by any means.

Overall this despite being 13.5% alcohol, it is surprisingly drinkable in small quantities. Definitely a sharing beer to be sipped and savored and a good one to contemplate the world with, if that makes any sense. I wonder if newer versions are equally as strong or if they are toned down a little. Glad I have two to find out down the road.

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Photo of Yesac
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage thanks to jwinship83

A- Dark brown in color, small off-white/brown head that quickly fades and moves to a ring around the glass.

S- Ah that all familiar barleywine aroma. This one is potent and sets a good expectation of a delicious beer. Big bourbon and bourbon barrel on the nose. Followed by syrup, and some fruits.

T-Along with smell.. bouron on the nose some hints of caramel, syrup, vanilla, fruits, sweet malt, slight barrel earthy finish. Everything is so very well balanced, I see why this is the #1 barleywine.

M- Medium/thick body, medium carbonation. Excellent coating on the palate, not to sticky. Just right.

O- A perfect storm indeed. This thing smells awesome and tastes just as great. What a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle shared by Balosss, thanks again. 2009 bottle I believe.

The Perfect Storm comes in the glass looking a very dark shaded brown with sprays of mahagony towards the sides. Nice dark beige foam sits on top with nice retention, no sticks though.

Smell is in your face bourbon. The aroma is very strong and it hits you. The bourbon is big, some vanilla/oak notes with dark fruits, mollasses, etc. Some sweet caramel with warming and some booze.

With some time on this bottle, the heat is there. The alcohol is noted and blends into the bourbon and malty base well. Heat, bourbon, into some oaky territory with the usual vanilla. Some dark fruit comes into play with warming.

Feel is big and approaching thick. The carb is there, yet not overbearing. A nice amount of heat creeps up on the tounge, especially with warming, but there is so much flavor to go along with it.

All in all, this is one of the better English Barleywines I've had from America. I could imagine this vintage was super hot when 1st out. For my 1st time having it, this is nice stuff.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Vintage 2012. From notes. Reviewed 27 June 2015.

Ruby glints. No head.
It smells deep and boozy, with toasty brown sugar.
Sugar deep and rich and spicy fun. It's a bit flat, but the burnt fruity booziness carries throughout everything.
Good but not great. Wouldn't have again.

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Photo of Rinkor16
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the opportunity to enjoy this with animortician, my brother and a buddy from work. We tasted this alongside King Henry and Abacus.

A: A nice brown with little lacing that didn't stick around.

S: BOURBON. Then some roastly malt. But the bourbon is right there in your face.

T: After starting with Abacus this one was a little odd for me. It was well balanced and the bourbon wasn't too overpowering. But the finish was left with a weird after taste. It didn't taste bad... Just odd.

M: The carbonation was a little low. Hard to hide that high ABV level. I could definitely taste it.

O: A good English Barleywine. Personally, I would choose Abacus over this. Even though it's rated higher. Might had been a bad batch or something. It was good but the odd after taste killed it a little.

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Photo of udchemist
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got to taste the bourbon barrel aged @ the jacki os release feb 2011.
Appearance - little to no head, dark.
Taste - mostly malts when cold, change and became softer as it warmed up.
Smell - malts, oats, dark fruits
Mouthfeel - nice taste up front and on the finish, solid beer nice feel on the palate
Drinkability - good.

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Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
4.42 out of 5 based on 1,894 ratings.
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